Notes and Disclaimers: I am once again borrowing the characters and settings of Konno Oyuki, Shueisha and Geneon, because I simply cannot get enough of them. Hopefully, neither can you.
The series of which this is a part is now entitled True Confessions. The “Yumi side” of it is complete – it includes the stories The Truth About Yoshino , Too Much Information and The Problem With Sachiko. This story begins the “Sachiko side” and I blame Sean Gaffney entirely.
I hope you enjoy this and all my other stories.Please feel free to let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Let me remind you that if you like my writing or my notes on the Maria-sama ga Miteru novels, Drama CDs, manga and anime on Okazu, please support Yuri by purchasing either my book or another Yuri publication from the Yuricon Shop.
And once again, my thanks to the Fanfic Revolution just about everything,except for Sean who doesn’t write stories when I tell him to.
What about Yumi
When Sachiko entered the second floor meeting room in the Rose Mansion, she was quite taken aback.
It was the day immediately after graduation and, despite the fact that it was a Sunday the many new leaders of the various clubs and teams were gathered on campus to address the issues that they would face when the term began. Sachiko, Rei and Shimako had also agreed to meet that day, to discuss the duties that they would be facing in the year to come as the leaders of the Student Council.
So it was not surprise that made Sachiko react the way she had. She fully expected Rei to be the first in the meeting room. She lived only a few minutes walk away, after all. Nor was she surprised that Shimako was last to join them, as she also had duties with the Environmental Executive Committee to attend to, and had already mentioned that she would be a little late.
The thing that took Sachiko aback was the look on Rei’s face.
Since she had first passed under the tall gates of Lillian that day, Sachiko had seen nothing but long faces, many accompanied by puffy and reddened eyes. It was the day after graduation. The first day that many of these students were at school without their onee-sama in over a year, perhaps as many as two.
There, sitting at the table in the council room in her accustomed spot facing the door was Rei, idly tracing circles on the table with her mechanical pencil and grinning like a fool.
Sachiko stood in the door silently. It was true that Rei had not had with Eriko-sama the same kind of sisterly closeness that she herself had with Youko-sama, but this seemed too much. Could she be *that* glad that the older girl was gone? Sachiko did not think so. She cleared her throat and stepped into the room.
Rei looked up, surprised. Her grin disappeared, quickly replaced by intense embarrassment. Sachiko pretended to not notice, placing her bag in the chair where Yumi usually sat.
“G…Good day,” Rei stuttered. “Beautiful day, isn’t it?”
“Good day.” Sachiko turned her head towards the window, where the threatening gloom made the weather seem even chillier than it was.
“I made some tea already,” Rei’s words tumbled out too quickly. “I was here first, so I thought I would just do that.”
“Thank you.” Sachiko favored her fellow council member with a polite smile and walked over to the kitchen area to serve herself. “You seem very cheerful today,” Sachiko looked back over her shoulder as she spoke. Rei’s reaction was bizarre in the extreme. She blushed fiercely, as if Sachiko has said something entirely inappropriate.
“Ah, yeah,” Rei covered her reaction poorly, obviously searching for the words with which to cover her embarrassment. “Well, you know, it’s a new school year, anything can happen, the possibilities are endless.”
Sachiko pulled her hand away from the hot water dispenser and turned, staring. She knew that her expression quite clearly communicated her feelings. What on *earth* was she going on about? “Rei?”
Rei’s face turned even redder, if that was possible. “Sorry” she muttered.
Returning to the table with her cup of tea, Sachiko seated herself, folded her hands neatly on the table and gently inquired. “Has something happened?”
Rei’s head snapped back and her eyes stared wildly. “Why do you ask?” Her hands flew to her face as if to see if she had grown a horn, or a third eye.
Sachiko managed to keep the smile off her face, for the moment. “Did you go out with Eriko-sama after the ceremony?” she asked, fairly certain that this would have been unlikely.
“No, Onee-sama went out with her family. She took Yoshino and I out a little while ago for a “Yellow Rose family” celebration. Last night Yoshino and I just went home after the ceremony.” At which comment her now almost-normal coloring flamed again.
Sachiko nodded briefly and picked up her tea. As she drank, she considered her next words carefully. If she appeared to understand too well, Rei might think her pushy. If she pretended to not notice, Rei might think her aloof. How, she wondered, could she encourage a feeling of relaxed companionship, when she herself wasn’t very relaxed about such things?
“Sachiko,” Rei’s deep voice was abashed. “I’m sorry, I’m acting like a fool, aren’t I?”
Shaking her head, Sachiko answered the question seriously, but with as much sincerity as she could. “No. I don’t think so. Or, more properly, no more than anyone else ever has in the same situation. Don’t you think it’s natural to feel that way?” She forced herself to meet Rei’s eyes sympathetically.
“Ah, yeah.” Rei dropped her head again, then lifted it up to look at her friend. The goofy smile made Sachiko flinch, something she wished she could control, but she simply couldn’t. “Thanks.”
“I haven’t done anything,” Sachiko shrugged. She wondered though, if she had done something important. Covering her thoughts once again, by taking the moment to dig in her bag, Sachiko thought over the possible reactions she might have had.
It was quite obvious that Rei and Yoshino-chan had been intimate. And Sachiko supposed that she ought to be disapproving of it, but she simply couldn’t think why she might be. Yes, they attended a Catholic school, but it wasn’t as if the students were Catholic, and she knew that Rei, at least, did not consider herself Christian at all. And she and her “little sister” had always been exceptionally close.
The more she thought about it, the more she simply couldn’t come up with a reason to disapprove. It hurt no one – provided it didn’t affect Rei’s performance as Rosa Foetida. And it affected her, Ogasawara Sachiko, not at all – provided that they didn’t try to use this room for trysts. And how likely was that? That wasn’t even sensible.
By the time she had removed her notebook and pen from her bag, replaced the bag on the chair and opened the notebook to the appropriate place, Sachiko had made up her mind.
“If you want to talk about it…” she hesitated, trying to frame her words in the way least open to misunderstanding, “I’m here.”
Rei’s face flushed once more, this time with gratitude. “Sachiko, I…” She stood abruptly, taking her teacup with her and walked over to the kitchen. Sachiko busied herself in her notes, not paying the slightest attention as Rei wiped her eyes with her handkerchief.
When the tall girl returned to the table, she held a cup of hot tea and her expression had cleared. She drank from her cup, then set it down with a clink. Leaning forward, she grinned impudently. “What about you?”
“What about me?” Sachiko did not look up from her notes.
“I’ve seen the way you look at Yumi-chan, the way you touch her….”
“Rei.” Sachiko’s voice was placid, but the threat in that single syllable was enough to stop Rei’s grin and turn it once again into an abashed look.
The door of the room opened. Shimako entered with an apology. Rei mentioned that tea was ready and laughingly fought off Shimako’s protest that she should have been the one to do that. Sachiko watched the other two women calmly, as she thought over the conversation that had not, thankfully, occurred.
What about her, she wondered. It had, of course, occurred to her that her enjoyment of touching her “little sister” could easily be misinterpreted. Would be. But she truly enjoyed the warmth of Yumi’s skin, the smooth softness of her hair, the feel of her cheek. Surely anyone would understand the desire to feel the warmth of another person close by.
But what about Yumi? What did she think of such things? She had never asked Sachiko to stop touching her, but did she enjoy it? Sachiko thought about the time Yumi had taken her hands before the student council elections. Those hands had been full of strength and support without reserve.
It was true that, in the early days, Yumi more often reacted with surprise than pleasure, but Sachiko was confident that that she did enjoy it. It seemed like just the other day when Yumi and she had danced together under the moon at the school festival.
Sachiko considered the evolution of their relationship. From the very first moment she had noticed Yumi, she had felt an irresistible urge to touch her. And with every moment in her company, that urge strengthened. Where once she might have covered her desire by straightening her tie, or her hair ribbon, now she would simply stroke her smooth cheek, or let her hand run though Yumi’s soft hair. She loved those moments when she would open her arms to the younger woman, tell her that she was welcome, and hold her close. She loved the fresh smell of Yumi’s hair, and the way it felt on her cheek.
Her thoughts continued with Shimako and Rei’s conversation as background noise. More than once she had looked down upon Yumi’s face and been overcome with a desire to brush her lips against a cheek. What about Yumi? Had she ever looked up at Sachiko and thought about kissing back?
“Sachiko…” Rei’s voice interrupted her thoughts.
“Hmm?” Sachiko looked up to find her companions staring at her wide-eyed.
“You’re, um…” Rei hesitated, then covered her hesitation with a small cough.
“You’re blushing,” Shimako’s soft voice held a distinct note of humor.
Sachiko stared back at them in disbelief. She was not. Her hands rose to her cheeks, felt the warmth in them and dropped to the table.
“…” Sachiko had no idea what to say. Or even to think. She could feel her cheeks grow warmer. “Sorry,” she muttered. “I was just thinking.”
“What about?” Shimako’s voice was so bland that there could be no way to accuse her of teasing. Nonetheless, it was obviously meant as a tease.
“About Yumi,” the answer came before she could stop herself.
Rei’s juicy laugh made Sachiko flinch, as much as her ridiculous morning-after grin had. “What about Yumi-chan?” she asked, the implication clear.
Sachiko stood to refill her tea, turning her back on the other women’s salacious chuckles. What, she thought as the brown liquid filled her cup, was she thinking, about Yumi?